Protect yourself and your loved ones from the seasonal flu
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) flu clinics ended January 19, 2013.
OPH reminds Ottawa residents of these key tips to avoid getting and transmitting the flu virus:
- Wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm, not your hand.
- Avoid crowds, public gathering and stay at home if you are sick.
- Do not visit hospitalized patients if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Individuals who have flu-like symptoms - a fever, a cough, severe headache and/or chills are advised to:
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Take basic pain or fever relievers.
- Take a warm bath.
- Gargle with a glass of warm water or suck on hard candy or lozenges.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
Contact your health care provider if symptoms are severe and do not improve after a few days.
You should call your health care provider immediately if you experience flu symptoms and you:
- Are pregnant
- Have a chronic health problem that requires regular medical attention
- Are elderly or frail
- Have an illness or are receiving treatments – for example, for diabetes, cancer, or HIV/AIDS – that might affect your immune system
- Have a child under three months of age who has a fever over 38° C or 100.4° F
The emergency room may not be your best option. Residents are asked to note that many area-hospitals are experiencing an increase in volume to their emergency departments and that the majority of this increase is due to flu. These admissions are leading to higher than normal hospital occupancy and longer wait times.
There are many ways to get non-emergency medical care. Trained professionals from Telehealth Ontario and the Ottawa Public Health Information line can answer your questions by phone, and family doctors, nurses and other health care providers can provide care.
For the latest public health information, you can contact Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656) or on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth). To reach Telehealth Ontario, call 1-866-797-0000.